Customization is a very broad topic. One thing that our predecessors working on MBF Customization did was create a Modification Taxonomy. This taxonomy helps to break down the topic and gives us some vocabulary for discussion.
Here are the key elements of the Modification Taxonomy and a short definition for each.
- Personalize – An end user changes layout, views, and actions.
- Configure – A business manager or Value Added Reseller (VAR) changes behavior in predefined areas using built-in mechanisms.
- Customize – A VAR or Independent Software Vendor (ISV) changes or adds behavior outside of predefined change points.
- Extend – A VAR or ISV makes a boxed product bigger by extending the scope of the application. This typically requires a redistributable install and licensing.
- Embed – A Large Development Team creates a new user experience on top of core application business logic. Changes are radical in nature.
- Integrate – An IT group or VAR shares data or processes with another system.
While there is a fair amount of gray area between these elements, I’ve found the descriptions to be helpful. If you have experience customizing ERP or other applications, does this taxonomy sound about right?